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  1. #41  
    Hey Jmill

    Guess what? I've been promoted too! Plus I can sling poo too! Now eat that!
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  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    I could give you numerous positive examples of progress we have made, compared to the rest of the world. In just a couple hundred years we have emerged as the superpower economically, technically, militarily, etc. and we are the most humanitarian and charitable country.
    In reality, the US are the least charitable country of the Western world (on a per capita/per Gross Domestic Product basis, (Source))... It is true that you have the strongest army in the world, but not the largest economy, the EU is larger. Your Noble prize per capita ratio is also quite low (certainly when compared to e.g. Switzerland), the Gross Domestic Product of several other countries is larger (nominal, on a per capita basis), the patent application per capita also doesn't look great for the US - it's a very mixed picture if you look at the facts and keep in mind that the US are a large country when compared to others like Germany or Great Britain.
    Could we do better? of course - but it is still the best place to be.
    Based on what data do you believe this to be the case? Because you like living there? In which other countries have you lived so far?
    Why else would 90% of the world want to emigrate here?
    Can you quote the source of this, or is this your personal impression (based on what)?
    I agree that the religious issues that have cropped up here are really annoying and distracting - but that is the price you pay for a truly open and democratic society.
    Are you trying to say e.g. Western European countries are less "truly democratic and open"? Based on what do you think so?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  3. #43  
    chillig35,
    Unfortunately, the religious issues cropping up here in the States are more than just annoying and distracting. One group is trying to impose its belief system on the rest of us through the use of government. It is very hard to have a meaningful dialog with someone who claims that their views and ideas come from their deity, and thus cannot be questioned.
  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    In reality, the US are the least charitable country of the Western world (on a per capita/per Gross Domestic Product basis, (Source))...
    the problem with a simple metric like this is that it does not include a lot of the indirect aid that US gives - e.g the aid bundled as part of military support.

    It is true that you have the strongest army in the world, but not the largest economy, the EU is larger. Your Noble prize per capita ratio is also quite low (certainly when compared to e.g. Switzerland), the Gross Domestic Product of several other countries is larger (nominal, on a per capita basis), the patent application per capita also doesn't look great for the US - it's a very mixed picture if you look at the facts and keep in mind that the US are a large country when compared to others like Germany or Great Britain.
    applying metrics of Nobel prizes or patents per capita is quite meaningless in these cases. Also, you conveniently lumped EU for the purpose of comparing economies - if you do the per capita measurements (charity, GDP, Nobel prizes, patents etc) for the EU as a whole, then it will fall behind the US.
    Based on what data do you believe this to be the case? Because you like living there? In which other countries have you lived so far?
    Travelled to 16 countries on four continents. Spent greater than 6 months in 3 countries (in addition to US). Bottom line - loved the experience, but wouldn't want to live anywhere else but here. True, that we lack a long history and a cultural tradition that goes with that, but we don't have the baggage either - and there are so many other aspects that make up for it.

    Can you quote the source of this, or is this your personal impression (based on what)?
    Not personal impressions - but based on general reading - here is a link with hard data on actual numbers.
    Are you trying to say e.g. Western European countries are less "truly democratic and open"? Based on what do you think so?
    Without going into a detailed analysis - but in a broad sense I would argue that Americans enjoy more economic freedoms and are more libertarian, whereas Europeans are more socialist.
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  5. #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by zvandiver
    chillig35,
    Unfortunately, the religious issues cropping up here in the States are more than just annoying and distracting. One group is trying to impose its belief system on the rest of us through the use of government. It is very hard to have a meaningful dialog with someone who claims that their views and ideas come from their deity, and thus cannot be questioned.
    well i do agree that these are HUGELY annoying and distracting since we need to focus on more important issues such as national security, economy, social security, energy policies etc.
    As I said earlier, many people are confused or worried with all the rapid changes in our society - and the evalengicals are seizing the opportunity to offer them "guidance". That is why there are so many well-meaning and misguided people out there who still think that evolution is "just a theory" and that ID should be taught alongside science.
    But the answer is not to beat them up for their confusion, but instead provide them the facts and rational explanations. It's a tough job because the evalengicals can very effectively leverage the power of mindless repetition and mindless simplicity. (and of course the fact that they cannot be questioned!)
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  6.    #46  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    don't you have any rebuttals? or is it that you don't want to have an open mind?
    Sorry for not answering right away. I lost my connection for awhile.

    I've read through your posts on this topic and your views are very clear. The only opinion I offered on this discussion was the thought that the three major theories should be taught in schools. The only reason behind this was so that students could actually understand what each side (there are many) is saying in their own words. I'm looking for MORE dialog, not LESS. I would think that indicates an open mind, wouldn't you?

    Your writings indicate a major problem in this country: a lack of respect for different views.
    clulup - don't tell me you expect an "intelligent" response from the ID advocates??
    ....evalengicals can very effectively leverage the power of mindless repetition and mindless simplicity....
    I'm interest in knowing... since I'm an evangelical Christian, what is my agenda again? I didn't get the talking points but it appears you must have a copy.

    I am going to ask you to remember that I am not an advocate of making anyone believe any of the three theories I've mentioned. I do, however, advocate learning all three. I make a distinct difference between the heart and the head. I believe that you should fill the head with as much as possible while reserving the heart for only those things that matter to you.

    Exposure in the mind does not mean an instant conversion in the heart.

    Improbable scenario:
    Mom: Sarah, how was school today?
    Sarah: Our teacher described the theory of Intelligent Design and, suddenly, I'm a born-again Christian. Halleluah!!!
    Mom: Oh, no!!! Not my little girl!!!! I knew it was a slippery slope!

    My Bible teaches that you can't trick someone into belief. I have trouble seeing Intelligent Design as a deliberate ruse. I have even more trouble understanding why right-wing Christians see this as so appealing. It's not Creationism. Go figure.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  7.    #47  
    Quote Originally Posted by zvandiver
    chillig35,
    Unfortunately, the religious issues cropping up here in the States are more than just annoying and distracting. One group is trying to impose its belief system on the rest of us through the use of government. It is very hard to have a meaningful dialog with someone who claims that their views and ideas come from their deity, and thus cannot be questioned.
    Not picking a fight here, just trying to find out your source for your info. Which group is trying to impose which belief system on us? Can you cite evidence of the attempts at imposition?

    I've heard this tune before but no one has given me specific examples of compulsory church attendance, oaths of faith, or public shunning for dissention.

    Everybody's talking about it, I'd just like to know where and when it has happened.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  8. #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanDad
    Not picking a fight here, just trying to find out your source for your info. Which group is trying to impose which belief system on us? Can you cite evidence of the attempts at imposition?

    I've heard this tune before but no one has given me specific examples of compulsory church attendance, oaths of faith, or public shunning for dissention.

    Everybody's talking about it, I'd just like to know where and when it has happened.
    off the top of my head I'll cite two: evangelicals have begun to dominate both the Air Force Academy and the armed forces chaplain services.

    Nightline two weeks ago did a story where they interviewed a Protestant chaplain who resigned to protest the way that non-evangelicals where being harassed at the Air Force Academy, and NPR recently did a lengthy story describing how what had once been an ecumenical calling acutely attuned and considerate of all faiths, had turned during the last several years into one where evangelical christian chaplains have disrespectfully treated non-born agains, jews, moslems, and even catholics.
    Last edited by BARYE; 08/03/2005 at 10:44 PM.
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  9.    #49  
    Go ARMY! Beat Air Force!

    Sorry, you hit me in one of my few areas of complete bigotry. I'm a West Point grad so I naturally hate all things Naval Academy and Air Force Academy...

    However, I did live across the highway from USAFA for two years and have known my share of their grads. I have to admit that the place in particular is truly weird. They had MULTIPLE leadership problems with sexual harassment which should have been nipped in the bud VERY early on. Their culture just tolerates the fighter-jock too much at the expense of the unit.

    I, too, have read the articles about evangelicals getting more vocal. I wouldn't characterize their number as growing but just getting more active and loud. The whole town (Colorado Springs) is really big into the Jesus-movement (I don't buy into all of their extra-biblical views). Anyway, I think you've hit on a good example of a micro-culture where evangelical Christians are being more than good neighbors.

    Any others?
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  10. #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanDad
    Go ARMY! Beat Air Force!

    Sorry, you hit me in one of my few areas of complete bigotry. I'm a West Point grad so I naturally hate all things Naval Academy and Air Force Academy...

    However, I did live across the highway from USAFA for two years and have known my share of their grads. I have to admit that the place in particular is truly weird. They had MULTIPLE leadership problems with sexual harassment which should have been nipped in the bud VERY early on. Their culture just tolerates the fighter-jock too much at the expense of the unit.

    I, too, have read the articles about evangelicals getting more vocal. I wouldn't characterize their number as growing but just getting more active and loud. The whole town (Colorado Springs) is really big into the Jesus-movement (I don't buy into all of their extra-biblical views). Anyway, I think you've hit on a good example of a micro-culture where evangelical Christians are being more than good neighbors.

    Any others?
    Well I actually did cite two -- the chaplin issue is arm services wide.

    I would also include any public school situation where prayer has a compulsory implication to it -- and the inference of a legitimte versus illegitimate way of belief.

    I take strong exception to the majority community using its power to estrange and pressure those who do not share their faith. I respect everyone's right of free expression of religion. But I agree with the supremes that when a prayer is officially recited, an unavoidable patina of official approval is implied.

    This is happening across the south and the midwest, irrespective of Supreme Court constitutional rulings -- and in flagrant violation of our laws and traditions.

    Its one of the things that evangelicals intend to target when they complete their takeover of our government with the new supreme justices.
    Last edited by BARYE; 08/04/2005 at 02:35 AM.
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  11. #51  
    AlaskanDad: I looked over your question....I am inclined to have both taught. If a parent wants their kids to opt of either or both, that's their discretion.

    I also thought that ID was basically a watered down 'politically correct' version of creationism without a direct mention of God? Is that not the case?

    Chiilig: I can't say for sure...it was 6 years ago...but I thought I was taught that evolution is a theory for explaining how a species changes and adapts over time. I thought you had mentioned in a previous post that it wasn't a theory?
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  12. #52  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    the problem with a simple metric like this is that it does not include a lot of the indirect aid that US gives - e.g the aid bundled as part of military support.
    So you would consider e.g. the US$200 billion for Iraq as charitable donations?
    True, that we lack a long history and a cultural tradition that goes with that, but we don't have the baggage either - and there are so many other aspects that make up for it.
    I have lived in the US for over a year, and from that experience, as well as from the news etc., I doubt you don't have any baggage... slave trade, civil war, lynching and discrimination of the black minority, etc. The "melting pot" view of the US doesn't really apply. 97% of non-hispanic whites are married to non-hispanic whites.
    Not personal impressions - but based on general reading - here is a link with hard data on actual numbers.
    I couldn't find any reference to 90 % of the people world-wide wanting to emigrate to the US.
    Without going into a detailed analysis - but in a broad sense I would argue that Americans enjoy more economic freedoms and are more libertarian, whereas Europeans are more socialist.
    You suggested the fundamentalistic, extremely religious tendencies in the US were the result of the "truly open and democratic system" in the US - which would mean e.g. European countries are less open and less truly democratic. Now you write about "economic freedom", which isn't the same thing.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  13.    #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    I would also include any public school situation where prayer has a compulsory implication to it -- and the inference of a legitimte versus illegitimate way of belief.

    I take strong exception to the majority community using its power to estrange and pressure those who do not share their faith. I respect everyone's right of free expression of religion. But I agree with the supremes that when a prayer is officially recited, an unavoidable patina of official approval is implied.

    This is happening across the south and the midwest, irrespective of Supreme Court constitutional rulings -- and in flagrant violation of our laws and traditions.

    Its one of the things that evangelicals intend to target when they complete their takeover of our government with the new supreme justices.
    You were very good at citing two specific examples. Then, you get vague. I have never heard of any example of compulsory prayer in a public school. Could you show me a reference?

    Again, I am adamantly against forcing anyone to believe like anyone else. Evidently, you believe that evangelical Christians (as a whole) have an agenda to the contrary. They must (I hear you say) intend to demand adherence to their faith.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  14.    #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    I also thought that ID was basically a watered down 'politically correct' version of creationism without a direct mention of God? Is that not the case?
    Great question. I guess the answer depends upon who you are asking. Critics of the theory say 'Yes'. They see this as nothing more than a ploy to sneak in religious thinking into the classroom in an attempt to convert the clueless through deception. ID advocates say 'No'. They specifically state that they do not involve any religion in their explanation that there is "some architect" responsible for planning the development of living organisms.

    I'm not falling in either camp. However, I vehemently believe that to truly understand someone else's position, you have to be able to state it clearly using their language to their satisfaction.

    In this case, I'm sure you won't find an ID advocate saying "Yep, this really is watered down 'creationism' without mentioning God. You caught us."
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  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanDad
    Sorry for not answering right away. I lost my connection for awhile.

    I've read through your posts on this topic and your views are very clear. The only opinion I offered on this discussion was the thought that the three major theories should be taught in schools. The only reason behind this was so that students could actually understand what each side (there are many) is saying in their own words. I'm looking for MORE dialog, not LESS. I would think that indicates an open mind, wouldn't you?

    Your writings indicate a major problem in this country: a lack of respect for different views. I'm interest in knowing... since I'm an evangelical Christian, what is my agenda again? I didn't get the talking points but it appears you must have a copy.
    AD,
    Perhaps I've made the same mistake of tarring all evalengicals with the same brush - the way all liberals are sometimes portrayed as rabid left-wing atheists. If so, I apologize.
    Sometimes it's hard to distinguish the folks who are really sincere about trying to come to grips with some of these issues, versus others who are seeking out similar opinions and are simply looking for endorsement to further support their own viewpoints.
    If you're in the former category, then please bear with me through a couple of scenarios I've outlined below, and then we can have a more honest dialogue.

    Scenario 1
    When I go to church, and when my (hyopthetical) child attends Sunday school, I find out that my pastor has started spending time teaching and discussing atheistic viewpoints about the existence of God, denying the very existence of spiritual beings or even a human soul. He introduces scientific literature that clearly "proves" that God is just a figment of our collective imagination, that the concepts of "spirit" or "soul" are just cognitive neurochemical illusions. Naturally my child is confused and asks me if God really exists, or whether we have a soul. I get upset and move my child to a different Church, but find out that most of the Church ministries in the state have introduced similar programs. I also realize that this issue of providing churchgoers with a more "realistic" and "scientifically correct" viewpoint God, soul, faith etc. has now risen to the national level, and that our openly atheistic President, and majority of the Congress and Senate are openly advocating and pushing this agenda. Many of the Church officers are now being replaced with an alarming number of atheists, and are dictating the way in which churches should be run.

    Scenario 2

    I travel abroad frequently on business, and after one particular extended trip away from home, I find myself sitting next to an well-dressed and obviously educated stranger on my flight from NY to Chicago. He introduces himself as Charles K Johnson, President of the Flat Earth Society. He is very personable and articulate, so I listen to him in polite amusement. However, when I get back home, I find to my horror that the FES has moved from the fringe to the center stage, with a huge following nationwide, and the "issues" raised by them were being vigorously "debated" at the national level. Even worse, several FES members have gotten themselves elected to the School boards statewide and now FES theory is being taught and discussed in Geography classes. Furthermore the President (as well as many members of Congress and Senate) strongly support the FES viewpoint and that children should at least be "exposed" to it and to let them make up their own minds. The President even suggests that the recent Space shuttle failures at NASA may be due to the fact the FES theory was being ignored. When I joke and ridicule the FES theory, I'm chastised for not keeping an "open" mind and that I should participate in more dialog instead of putting down other viewpoints.

    No offense to you AD, or others out there, but the whole "debate" about evolution and about alternate "theories" such as ID is as absurd as both the scenarios above. First of all, nobody has any business pushing a religious viewpoint into a science education program (or vice versa) and secondly it is a complete waste of our collective time introducing pseudo-science (or worse non-science) into a serious scientific discussion - and expecting a real "debate". So perhaps you can understand my frustration about the fact that this even a topic for debate, let alone being accused of having a closed mind.
    In fact I first started questioning evolutionary science myself, nearly 20 years ago when I first read Algeny (by Jeremy Rifkins). It was an eye-opener for me - but after little more reading and follow up I was able to easily see where he was wrong. And biological science has made enormous advances in the past 20 years that have all but dismissed many of his challenges to evolution, but sadly there have been no real scientific advances in ID theory - just tired old recycled Arguments of Personal Incredulity and Ignorance (just because I, sitting here in my room by myself, cannot figure out how this particular step in evolution occured, or didn't know that other scientists have already figured it out, it means that theory of evolution may be wrong and I should seek alternate out alternate theories).

    I challenge anyone here on this forum to actually debate the science behind ID with me - without bringing the Bible (or other scriptures) into it. And please do not go cite FES type opinions (NASA faked all the satellite photos, or mainstream science is hiding the real truth) - just genuine science-based facts only.

    And in closing, let me ask you this: I'm a pharmaceutical executive and I've helped design and develop (as have many other drug companies) life-saving drugs against cancer and infectious diseases using the principles of evolutionary science (i.e. looking for MDR pathways, predicting mutation and evolution rates of cancer cells or infectious organisms etc.). Would you be willing to put your life (or a loved one) at risk with a drug that has been designed with ID science behind it? If I told you that we cannot understand exactly how this drug prevents measles, except that there must be an mysterious ID phenomenon behind it, would you vaccinate your children with it?
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  16. #56  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So you would consider e.g. the US$200 billion for Iraq as charitable donations?
    No - but other military programs such as aid to Pakistan, S Korea, in S America etc. include significant amount of non-military infrastucture aid.
    I have lived in the US for over a year, and from that experience, as well as from the news etc., I doubt you don't have any baggage... slave trade, civil war, lynching and discrimination of the black minority, etc. The "melting pot" view of the US doesn't really apply. 97% of non-hispanic whites are married to non-hispanic whites.
    Obviously you haven't visited NY or California. There is some baggage yes, but the rate of progress is amazing.
    I couldn't find any reference to 90 % of the people world-wide wanting to emigrate to the US.
    I meant 90% of immigrants world-wide
    You suggested the fundamentalistic, extremely religious tendencies in the US were the result of the "truly open and democratic system" in the US - which would mean e.g. European countries are less open and less truly democratic. Now you write about "economic freedom", which isn't the same thing.
    the fact that fundamentalistic or extremely religious groups are tolerated (or sometimes even elected) only shows the great latitude and freedom here. For example Germany bans any expression of Nazi sentiments (for good reason I admit, but still extreme viewpoints are not tolerated). And the British Emergency Powers Act was a shame - even the most extreme versions of the US Patriot Act do not go that far.
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  17. #57  
    chillig35.
    Just remember that rational arguments won't necessarily win over people who are basing their viewpoint on religion. You cannot change someone's opinion if they believe it comes from a religious text direct from God and is thus inerrant.
    AlaskanDad,
    There is a situation here in Texas (Odessa) where the school board has been pressured to offer a high school course on the Bible. Several educational sources have looked at the syllabus and found that it is not just a course on the Bible as literature, but a effort to promote a particular religious view point. As such, it would be appropriate in a church setting, but not in a public school.
  18. #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Chiilig: I can't say for sure...it was 6 years ago...but I thought I was taught that evolution is a theory for explaining how a species changes and adapts over time. I thought you had mentioned in a previous post that it wasn't a theory?
    T2 - what I've said is that the "theory" of evolution is no less valid or scientifically solid than the "laws" of Gravity. In fact most physicists talk about theories of gravitation (since there are still many unanswered questions about the fundamental nature of gravitational forces). The words "theory" and "law" used in science are often misunderstood by the general public though they mean the same thing. If a particular scientific idea has not been fully validated it still remains at a "hypothesis" stage or even lower down as "conjecture" or "speculation". In the scientific community, a "theory" is defined as a generally accepted and validated scientific concept.
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  19. #59  
    Quote Originally Posted by zvandiver
    chillig35.
    Just remember that rational arguments won't necessarily win over people who are basing their viewpoint on religion. You cannot change someone's opinion if they believe it comes from a religious text direct from God and is thus inerrant.
    I agree - but in the case of ID "science" I don't expect to have a rational argument anyway (there are none).
    As you can see across the board, the ID supporters have always been forced to use either semantics or the scriptural texts to support their viewpoint, never a rational scientific argument.
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  20. #60  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The "melting pot" view of the US doesn't really apply. 97% of non-hispanic whites are married to non-hispanic whites.
    My mother is Japanese, other than her children, grand and great grand children the rest of her family all live there. My father was a W.A.S.P., making me half-white/half japanese. Almost every girl I have had a relationship with have been of Mexican decent (generally first generation.) I think I'm melting quite nicely.
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